Metrohispeed Fax Admin Interface Quirks

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After trying efax and a couple of others thanks to a great efax review site, we are giving Metrohispeed.com a try. They are $13/month for 1000 pages per month, so a decent deal at Internet Email Fax Services by MetroFax.

Here are some notes about using them:

They do allow corporate accounts although no corporate discount. You can be an administrator over lots of numbers which is nice since we want a efax number for every professional that automatically goes to their inbox. The web user interface is pretty easy to use for an individual.

But you have to be careful as an administrator. Their user interface for admins is very tricky in that it is quite non-standard in the way it works and there is no documentation I can find. So some notes for those of you who are using them:

# When you login as an admin, the upper left of the screen shows a bunch of fax numbers. You would think that this controls the whole user interface. That is if you switch the number on the top, you are then editing the parameters for that account. _That is not how it works!_ All the upper left does is change the small portion of the screen that reports what is in the inbox and so forth. So it is very easy to edit the wrong account. You essentially only use the upper left to see what’s in the inbox of each efax number.
# The way you edit individual accounts is in the lower left where are two ways to do it. By clicking on My Account or by clicking on User Administration. _These two ways are not the same and there looks like a bug where My Account is wrong_. This is really confusing, but I think somehow in the code somewhere the records are not selected correctly. They look one off to me.
# Only use User Administration to edit and you will see a list of users and their names. Then you will see users and their long names. Click on their names and this looks like the correct way to change things.
# There are two ways to change things and the two links are very unclear, but are in the middle of the screen and are called account profile and user preferences. Account profile links an email to a phone number that is in little red letters at the middle. _Don’t look at all at the upper left, this phone number although prominent has nothing to do with the user displayed and isn’t synced to the right._ User Preferences are where the passwords are.
# A note on passwords, Metrohispeed stores everything in clear text on passwords, so they can see your passwords directly. This is kind of unusual, so _don’t use any passwords with them more than once or for your other sites as the admins can see every password in the system._ Most sites will store everything encrypted, but it is nice to know which ones don’t. I’ve seen quite a few sites that do it well like WordPress where admins can’t see anything, but others like Bonzi and this one really are dangerous from a security POV. The safest thing is of course a password for every site but who has time for that?

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